Queenstown gondola shut for mechanical repairs

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Queenstown’s gondola has been temporarily shut down whilst a mechanical fault is fixed. 

The popular downtown attraction was stopped yesterday (Wednesday) but its operator Skyline Enterprises expects it to back up and running by tomorrow (Friday). 

Skyline chief executive Jeff Staniland says the decision to close the gondola was made after company maintenance crew noticed a strange noise in the drive shaft. 

“It’s developed an irregularity of some sort, somewhere it’s got a bit of wear.” 

Staniland says the shaft’s been taken out and sent to Invercargill for repair. 

A full review of what and why it happened will be conducted, he says. 

Staniland says safety was never compromised. 

“No – it was more of an operational thing. Obviously if we kept running it, it would get worse and worse. But we have an auxillary motor and could get people off the line if need be.”

Staniland wouldn’t comment on what the shutdown was costing in lost revenue, but noted: “It’s not the school holidays, it’s not peak season and it’s bad weather. This is not the worst time for it to happen.”

As well as providing daily rides to tourists and access to Skyline’s restaurant and luge attraction, the gondola cars are also used by mountain bikers to access Queenstown Bike Park tracks.